Category Archives: The Learning Process

Q&A with Joy Deneen for Rendez-vous 2019

I’m not much of a “being in the spotlight” type of person, but I sure talked a lot about how much I love calligraphy and attending conferences in this Q&A!  Thanks to Joy for reaching put and Vichana for the ASOH photos. I look forward to seeing all my calligra-friends and teachers at Rendez-vous 2019!

Read the Q&A here: https://rendezvouscalligraphy.org/en/blog/why-i-attend-the-international-calligraphy-conference

Chalkboard Lettering Demo

The chalkboard style flyer I created for the demo

After attending the fantastic Chalkboard lettering class with Cora Pearl at Letters California Style in February, I was asked by Society for Calligraphy‘s Membership Chair, David Mark, to do a free demo for new members of the guild. Cora very generously and graciously let me share some of her teaching material with the new members!

One of the new members, Mila, was very kind to provide our classroom space. We expected maybe 10 people in the class, but ended up with a total of 14! I was super nervous as I’ve never done a demo/teaching session before, and really wanted everyone to have a great experience. Looking at how hard everyone was working and how fast a few hours flew by, I think it was pretty successful. Thanks David, and Society for Calligraphy for the opportunity, and huge thanks again to Cora for the guidance!

What a great group!

Letters California Style 2018 – Chalkboard Lettering with Cora Pearl

Ready for Chalkboard Lettering with Cora Pearl!

Before I started attending Letters California Style, February used to be one of those months that were just there. The month quickly passes and we’re ready for Spring. But now that I’m part of the Society for Calligraphy, the annual mini-conference over President’s Day weekend is something I always look forward to every year.

This year, I was lucky to get into Cora Pearl‘s class, The Art of Chalkboard Lettering. Cora is a professional calligrapher, artist, and teacher in Portland, Oregon, and I have long admired her work, especially her lettering! I’ve always wanted to learn how to do chalkboard lettering. When done right, it is such a beautiful way of layering information that totally speaks to the graphic designer side of me.

Cora sharing a demo in class.

On the first day, Cora showed us a few of her chalkboard lettering styles. We used Micron markers on layout bond to become familiar with the letters’ structures and shapes. Cora spent time with each of us and gave excellent critique and instructions.

Learning my first letters from Cora!

On day two, we all had a WOW! moment as we switched to white charcoal pencil on black paper. It looked SO beautiful and I just love the vintage/retro styles of these letters!

My first chalkboard practice sheet

Cora is an incredibly organized teacher who is also positive and encouraging. If I ever become a calligraphy teacher, I want to be just like her. :) I learned some great techniques and styles from her, which I will definitely put to use! I hope SfC will invite her back to teach again very soon!

Letters California Style 2017 – The Art of Certificates and Scrolls with Robbie Saslow

Over Presidents’ Day weekend, I had the best time at Letters California Style, the member’s conference that takes place every year on that weekend, organized by Society for Calligraphy in Southern California. This year I was in Robbie Saslow‘s class, “Fabulous and Functional: The Art of Certificates and Scrolls,” along with nine other calligraphers from California, Texas, Nevada, and Washington State. We all enjoyed learning from Robbie who shared wonderful stories, knowledge, and great tips! He was such a fantastic instructor.

Robbie doing a class demo.

Our first class assignment was to create a certificate, picking one out of three choices with different criteria and styles. Most in the class opted for a certificate for the “Golden Poppy Society of Southern California” (a fictitious organization). We sketched drafts and worked on our designs with Robbie’s guidance for the first two days:

Snap shots from class: Robbie doing a demo and shared his beautiful work for the Los Angeles County; beautiful certificates done by Schin Loong, Diane Reiter, Kathy Barker, and Cindy Haller.

I ended up choosing a baby name certificate, which had the requirement of: baby name should be prominent, with a style that is casual, playful but clean, no pink, and must have three cats. I felt it was the most comfortable for me to dive into!

Rough draft of my certificate.

Needless to say, I had a lot of fun with this one, using pointed pen styles, sketching cats, lettering with colored pencils and using green with FineTec gold!

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A Sharp Pencil and a Keen Eye

Last weekend, I spent the weekend in San Diego learning from Amity Parks! I was really sad to have missed the opportunity to learn from her last year, so I was glad that San Diego Fellow Calligraphers invited her to teach her workshop A Sharp Pencil and a Keen Eye, and they had an opening!

The last time I visited San Diego was in 2013 for Pat Blair’s Copperplate workshop, and I really enjoyed the experience. SDFC’s classroom space is big and open, and everyone was so kind and welcoming.

Amity demos for our class

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The Passionate Pointed Brush

Julie Wildman (left) speaks to the class

I attended a wonderful Society for Calligraphy workshop over the weekend – The Passionate Pointed Brush with Julie Wildman who was visiting us from Chicago! Julie has been working as a designer and artist for over 25 years.

The class took place on the campus of Cal State Long Beach. The classroom was nice and big, and we had so much room on big work tables!

My practice sheet, with name tag lettered by Julie

I have always loved the pointed brush. It’s definitely quite challenging because it is so different from using a steel nib. Julie shared some great exemplars with us, including her own, as well as work from pointed brush master calligraphers such as John Stevens, Yves Leterme, and Carl Rohrs. She also showed us letterform variations, such as the different ways to do each letter. I loved watching her do demo – she has such great control of the pointed brush and has such a light touch.

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A Show of Hands 2016

North Carolina hospitality

I just spent a week at A Show of Hands, the 2016 International Calligraphy Conference, and I had one of the most fun calligraphy experiences ever.

This was my first time in North Carolina, and the town of Asheville was just so beautiful and green. I got an AirBnB off-campus with five other calligraphy friends, and we had the best time hanging out, attending classes, and learning in a wonderful atmosphere. The conference took place on the campus of Warren Wilson College which had beautiful grounds, with blooming flowers in the midst of summer.

 

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From Pointed Pen to Pointed Brush

Hello Chicago!

Disclaimer: Unlike many people, I’m not much of a traveler. Never have been. I’m mostly okay with road trips, but I really dislike flying where so many factors can throw things off, and everything is (literally) up in the air. To me, the “getting there” part is a huge hassle and a giant stress-inducer. And it’s worse when I’m without a travel companion.

But now I say: I will travel for calligraphy :-)

And this is where I found myself, a Southern California girl who had never experienced any temperature less than 40°F, in the middle of January, in the beautiful city of Chicago, where it was a balmy… 28°F. And now I can look back, smile and say: I went to Chicago to study with IAMPETH Master Penman Mike Kecseg for a weekend!

Ever since I was introduced to his Pointed Pen Variations (the exemplar is available in the Speedball Textbook), I’ve been wanting to learn from Mike himself. When an opportunity came up with the Chicago Calligraphy Collective, I just couldn’t pass up the chance. I joined the CCC and mailed in my check and registration form right on opening day back in September, and was lucky enough to get a seat!

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